A Fijian man sought residency in New Zealand after claiming his whole family had been massacred by a group of Bangladeshis.
But Satya Nand's elaborate, and fake, yarn unravelled in the Tauranga District Court today after he was sentenced to 29 months' jail after earlier pleading guilty to a representative charge of using false documentation to obtain a benefit.
Nand arrived in New Zealand on a visitor visa in 1996. By two years later he had created a new identity - with a new name Rana Khan - and a false story that he was a refugee.
He claimed he was born in India and went to Bangladesh when he was a year old and that his family were killed when he was 18.
In his elaborate yarn, Nand claimed he was persecuted, beaten up and stabbed at the refugee camp in Bangladesh so stowed away on a ship to Hong Kong and eventually New Zealand.
However, Immigration New Zealand didn't buy his story.
INZ's assistant general manager, Peter Devoy, said the whole story was a lie.
"The defendant had never been to either India or Bangladesh and in fact was in Fiji and New Zealand for the entire time," Devoy says.
"But he managed to obtain New Zealand residence and subsequently citizenship after creating for himself a new identity, obtaining identity documents in his false name, completing statutory declarations about his background and using documentation to obtain benefits for himself, his wife and three children.
"Nand came up with an elaborate story to fulfil his dream of living in New Zealand. His fraudulent behaviour was despicable, particularly in view of the experiences and suffering many genuine refugees experience.
"He was ultimately caught as a result of painstaking investigative work by our compliance officers who managed to locate him under his true Fijian identity and then uncovered his fraud and false identity.
"The judge commented how serious this offence was. Today's sentence shows such behaviour will not be tolerated and acts as a strong deterrent."